Cleveland woman didn't know her symptoms were a sign of cancer - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland woman didn't know her symptoms were a sign of cancer

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Colon cancer the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. and 60 percent of those deaths are preventable.

March is national awareness month for the disease.
Colon cancer has become a family affair for Keisha Walker Graham, with her mother, grandmother and great grandmother all having fought the battle.
"It was found after the age of 50, which is normal for this type of thing and it was also found in polyp form instead of tumor form like it was found in my case," said Keisha.
Keisha tells Channel 3 she had symptoms for nearly 2 years and even with her extensive family history of the cancer, didn't think she had anything to worry about because she was only 35. So she chocked it off to other things.
"I just thought I will deal with this later, there is no way it is something that bad," said Keisha. "I wrote it off to be something like IBS, irritable bowel syndrome or Crohns."
But then she developed pain in the lower abdomen, putting her in the ER and confirming her worst fear, she had cancer.
"How do I have cancer at 35? Is this possible? There were a lot of questions," said Keisha.
Now, only a week after surgery to remove the mass in her colon, her journey is just beginning, as she waits to receive chemo treatment.

But she hopes her story will encourage others to pay attention to the symptoms for colon cancer, which include; blood in the stool, stomach pain, and weight loss.

We learned if polyps are found soon enough, they can be removed before turning into cancer.

Keisha urges everyone with any symptoms to have themselves screened and not make the same mistake she did by waiting too long.
"It doesn't matter how old you are, if your 25 and you're seeing the symptoms, go get a colonoscopy.
Everyone over the age of 50 should have themselves screened, however if you have a family history you are at a higher risk for the cancer and could need screening sooner.

If you would like more information on colon cancer, click here.

If you would like to keep up with Keisha and her fight, click here.

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